Sunday morning in Madelena started with a touch of sea fog but this soon burned off as we drove north, once again shunning the motorways as we wove our way out of Porto. We stopped at a local Lidl for some supplies – apart from Portuguese prices being perhaps just a little lower most items on the shelves were identical to those we get in UK and even the ‘boy’s toys’ in the central aisle were the same. I debated buying a new compressor or arc welder but decided that space in the van was just a bit too limited.
I’ve started to notice the huge number of car sales lots along the roadsides. In the rural areas every possible bit of free space seems to be given over to vines or olives but in this part of the world you can’t turn an urban corner without coming across a used car dealer. Portugal and Spain have a high percentage of older cars still on the road, including a number of models that have long since disappeared from the UK and which British enthusiasts are starting to describe as ‘modern classics’. Perhaps there’s an opportunity there ……or perhaps not.
We spent Sunday evening in comfortable but rather lonely isolation in Paredes de Coura as the only occupants of a 50 space automated motorhome site. Looking for signs of life we walked into the town to find that we’d stumbled on the Festa da Truta – sadly the only entertainments on offer were a demonstration of ‘101 ways to stuff a trout’ or the local accordion band who unfortunately seemed only to know the one tune. We’d missed a Pink Floyd tribute band by two days. Bugger!
The following morning was a touch grey and drizzly so we stopped only briefly to visit the impressive fort at Valenca. As it happens we were in the company of the Paraedes branch of the Derby and Joan Club – what seemed like thousands of Portuguese pensioners let out for the day, all wearing blue peaked caps as identification, presumably to ease the task of their minders when it came to rounding-up time.
Monday night’s stopover was at a nice little campsite near Cangas, just to the west of Vigo, with great views out to the Islas Cies which were apparently noted as having some of the world’s best beaches in a recent survey.